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Because of the Covid, stays in summer camps have sometimes been shortened

A summer suspended from the threat of Covid. While the numbers of the epidemic are panicking, organizing the departures of children this summer has sometimes turned into a puzzle. Or the fiasco: Tuesday August 17, 173 children from 6 to 17 years old, coming from all over France for a stay in Belle-Île (Morbihan), had to pack their bags and go home faster than expected, after the apparition of a cluster within their group.

→ REPORT. In “colo”, the children finally take a break after a year marked by the Covid

Bastien Martin, stays coordinator for the CLV Rhône-Alpes association, experienced the same situation in his holiday center in Saint-Julien-en-Vercors (Drôme), where a group of 60 children was accommodated.

It all started “A bit by chance, when a facilitator tested positive on a day when she was not working”, he says. No more mountain walks, the children all had to be tested. “The Red Cross came to the scene. In total, 28 people were positive, animators and children alike ”, continues the manager.

Repatriation puzzle

From there, a whole logistics is put in place. An activity chalet becomes an isolation camp. Above all, repatriation must be organized, requested by the regional health agency (ARS) and health insurance. But nothing could be less simple: “Given the number of people affected, there weren’t enough ambulances available. Some children, placed in the Child welfare, could not return to foster care, themselves on vacation at this time of the year ”,details Bastien Martin.

His association also welcomes about twenty children with disabilities, difficult to isolate. “Finally, we looked after the children until the end of the stay so as not to burden the families. The animators were isolated with them, then we took them home ourselves with our mini-vans, to Lyon, Valence, Paris. “

“We have multiplied the tests in the emergency”

According to him, other organizations have experienced the same setbacks, even if the vast majority of stays have been able to take place and adapt to health constraints. Vincent Gaveriaux, manager of the Magellan association, remembers his evening of July 12 very well, when Emmanuel Macron announced an extension of the health pass in two stages: to places of leisure on July 21, then to trains from August 9. “The problem is that some children had already left, supervised by animators not yet vaccinated”, testifies the person in charge. How were they going to be able to board the return train or accompany the young people to the cinema or to the museum?

→ REPORT. The health pass gets on board the trains

The “summer camps” had to adapt. “We have multiplied the tests in the emergency”, resumes Pierre Vallet, one of the directors of Vitacolo, an association based in Villeurbanne (Rhône) which sent 700 young people away this summer. Each time, the result was awaited with fear, because the replacements were not legion this year. “Few Bafa trainings took place this winter, and therefore few animators were trained”, resumes Vincent Gaveriaux.

In this context, he considers himself lucky to have received only negative test results. In the end, he only had to repatriate a young girl, in case of contact, during a stay on the island of Yeu, in Vendée. After having isolated her from the rest of the group, he organized her repatriation to the continent with the ARS of Vendée and insurance.

→ READ. Holidays: children favor scientific “summer camps”

There remained the thorny question of the other members of the group, which he “Was impossible to test regularly, for lack of tests available on the island”. In order not to compromise the return trip, he chartered a bus for Paris, in order to avoid the train. With success : “I have not had any feedback from families telling me that their children have been sick”,he concludes, relieved.


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